Listed below are recent posts across all of CalRecyle's blogs.

  • CalRecycle Cleans Up Paradise, Recycles Metal Debris

    CalRecycle’s contractors in Butte County have just recovered their 100 millionth pound of scrap metal from the Camp Fire debris in Paradise. For perspective, the Statue of Liberty weighs 450,000 pounds. The wildfire debris cleanup contractors averaged recovering the equivalent of one and a half Lady Liberties per day in metal since the cleanup started in February. 

    Nevertheless, metal is the smallest classification of debris being removed from the fire area and redirected to disposal sites and collection centers. Ash and burnt debris, concrete, and contaminated soil take up most of the truckloads; metal is a relatively scant 1.4 percent of the 3.6 million tons of debris collected. Despite being the smallest category, it’s important, because unlike ash, metal is recyclable.

    CalRecycle, under its mission to protect public health and the environment, ensures that these millions of tons of debris are safely disposed while maximizing the amount of recyclable materials recovered, especially metals. Cleanup crews gather and separate metal material to reduce the amount that will end up in landfills. The crew then washes it to clean off as much debris as possible before it is loaded into a dump truck and taken to a collection facility. 

    Burned vehicles by the way, were counted separately from scrap metal. More than 23,000 burned vehicles of all types have been recovered and delivered to the same collection facility in Oroville as the scrap metal. 

    How many truck loads has it taken to move 100 million pounds of recovered metal? More than 35,000! The dump trucks have a weight capacity of 10 tons, but they can only get about a ton and a half in each truck. Metal debris doesn’t lie flat and compact like soil or ash, so there is a lot of empty space in each load. To quote a veteran of many debris clean up projects, “Scrap metal is fluffy.” 

    Check out this video to learn more. 

    Camp Fire Metal Recovery YouTube video

    Posted on In the Loop by Chris McSwain on Oct 25, 2019

  • CalRecycle Launches New Recycling and Disposal Reporting System

    CalRecycle Launches New Recycling and Disposal Reporting System

    As a state with more than 40 million residents, California generates a lot of waste—to the tune of 77.2 million tons in 2017 alone. In 2019, CalRecycle launched a new Recycling and Disposal Reporting System to track how organics, recyclable material, and solid waste are managed throughout the state. Regulated businesses have registered and, in some cases, have already started reporting data to CalRecycle. The department expects to release the first quarterly report in January 2020.

    Under the previous reporting system, information was reported to counties and regional agencies that aggregated the data before sending it to CalRecycle. To better understand the composition of our waste streams, CalRecycle supplemented that data with detailed waste characterization studies.

    The new system builds on these efforts by requiring recycling and composting businesses, facilities, and operations to report directly to CalRecycle, thereby streamlining the submittal process and helping CalRecycle not only understand what is being recycled, but also where in the state materials are managed. With better data, CalRecycle can more accurately assess the waste and recycling industry landscape in order to identify specific challenges and promulgate potential solutions.  

    Regulated businesses are starting to report their data in incremental steps as materials flow through collection centers and transfer stations to recyclers, composters, and landfills. Quarter Three (July-September) 2019 data will be fully reported by the end of December 2019, and CalRecycle will analyze and report the results in January 2020.

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Oct 24, 2019

  • Fall Into Composting

    Dry leaves, twigs, paper, and branches are powerful sources of carbon for compost piles.


    Autumn is finally here, and the leaves are beginning to change colors. Pretty soon, people will be raking bright orange and yellow leaves from their lawns. It’s the perfect time of year to start composting – if you start now, you’ll have finished compost in time for your spring garden and flower beds.

    Compost is an organic material made from recycled green and brown materials (like landscape trimmings and branches). Pile these up in a mound or toss them into a compost drum barrel, and pretty soon you will have a robust soil amendment for your garden. You can find more information on our website about home composting.

    Compost has many benefits for homeowners. It retains soil moisture, which is especially helpful during the summer. It keeps weed growth down, which makes gardening much easier. Compost also provides nutrients to the soil, reducing the need for fertilizers. It even adds carbon to the soil, which directly combats climate change.

    Check out our Compost: Getting Started video for more information.

    YouTube video. Compost: Getting Started
    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Oct 17, 2019